HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell today announced the award of $2 million in grants for programs designed to educate youth, parents, caregivers and employers about the dangers of substance abuse.
“The Pennsylvania Youth Survey that was released last summer revealed that nearly one-third of our state’s high school seniors admitted to binge drinking and nearly a quarter of them said they had driven a car after drinking or using drugs,” Rendell said. “Clearly, we need to convey stronger anti-substance abuse messages to our youth, and these grants can help to do that.”
Rendell said that nearly half of the state’s small employers – who employ the majority of workers in the commonwealth – have no drug-free workplace policies.
“We need to help small businesses create healthier, safer and more productive workplaces,” Rendell said.
The grants were awarded through state’s Substance Abuse Education and Demand Reduction Fund, which is administered by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The fund is comprised of costs assessed to those convicted of drug offenses and driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Under the legislation that created the fund, 20 percent of the money that comes to the commission must be used for anti-substance abuse public awareness campaigns. Another 20 percent must target substance abuse prevention and education in Pennsylvania workplaces. The remaining funds are divided among organizations and agencies for other kinds of prevention, intervention and treatment programs that address substance abuse.
For more information about the commission, visit www.pccd.state.pa.us.
Recipients of the grants announced today include:
-Drug Free PA: $800,000
Drug Free Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, will conduct a statewide public awareness campaign to educate youth ages 15 to 18 about the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
-Drug Free PA: $806,000
Drug Free Pennsylvania will provide a statewide public awareness campaign designed to educate about the dangers of substance abuse in the workplace and will deliver comprehensive drug-free workplace services to organizations throughout the Commonwealth. The campaign will place an emphasis on small businesses.
-PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: $200,000
The PA National Guard Counterdrug Program at Fort Indiantown Gap will use funds to purchase and produce drug prevention media tools. The Counterdrug Program provides no-cost anti-drug support and education to schools, coalitions and communities across the commonwealth.
-Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc.: $194,000
The Council’s Business Employee Assistance Consortium will use the funds to contact 5,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania to provide programs to reduce substance abuse in the workplace. The organization will also target working parents to help them recognize the warning signs of drug and alcohol use by children.